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9:36  A.M.  EDT 
Members  of  the  Cabinet,  Members  of  the  trJhite 
House  all  of  our  friends  here: 
I  think  the  record  should  show  that  this  is  one 
of  those  spontaneous  things  that  we  always  arrange  whenever 
the  President  comes  in  to  speak,  and  it  will  be  so  reported 
in the pres s  and  we  don't  mind  because  they  have  to  call 
it as  they  see  it. 
But  on  our  part,  believe  me,  it  is  spontaneous. 
You  are  here  to  say  goodbye  to  us,  and  we  don't 
have  a  good  word  for  it  in  English.  The  best  is  au  revoir. 
We  will  see  you  again. 
I  just  met  with  the  members  of  the  White  House  staff, 
you  those  who  serve  here  in  the  lrJhite  House  day  in 
and  day  out,  and  I  asked  them  to  do  what  I  ask  all  of  you  to 
do  to  the  extent  that  you  can  and,  of  course,  are  requested 
to  do  so:  To  serve  our  next  President  as  you  have  served 
me  and  previous  Presidents  -- because  many  of  you  have  been 
here  for  many  years  with  devotion  and  dedication,  because 
this  office,  great  as  it  is,  can  only  be  as  great  as  the  men 
and  women  who  work  for  and  with  the  President. 
This  house,  for  example,  I  was  thinking  of  it as 
we  walked  down  this  hall,  and  I  was  comparing  it  to  some  of 
the  great  houses  of  the  world  that  I  have  been  in.  This  isn't 
the  biggest  house.  Many,  and  in  even  smaller  countries 
are  much  bigger.  This  isn't  the  finest  house.  Many  in  Europe) 
particularly,  and  in  China)  have  paintings  of  great,  great 
value,  things  that  we  just  don't  have  and  probably  will 
never  have  until  we  are  1000  years old,  or  older. 
But  this  is  the  best  house.  It  is  the  best  house 
because  it has  something  far  more  important  than  numbers  of 
people  who  serve,  far  more  important  than  numbers  of  rooms  or 
how  big  it  far  more  important  than  numbers  of  magnificent 
pieces  of  art. 
Digitized from Box 1 of the White House Press Releases at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
l' .-
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This  house  has  a  great  heart,  and  that  heart 
comes  from  those  who  serve.  I  was  rather  sorry  they 
didn't  come  down.  We  said  goodbye  to  them  upstairs.  But 
they  are  really  great.  And  I  recall  after  so  many  times 
I  have  made  speeches,  and  there  have  been  some  of  them  pretty 
tough,  yet,  when  I  always  come  back,  or  after  a  hard  day  --
and  my  days  usually  have  run  rather  long  -- I  would  always 
get  a  lift  from  them  because  I  might  be  a  little  down, 
but  they  always  smiled. 
And  so  it  is  with  you.  I  look  around  here 
and  I  see  so  many  on  this  staff  that,  you  know,  I  should 
have  been  by  your  offices  and  shaken  hands,  and  I  would 
loved  to  have  talked  to  you  and  found  out  how  to  run  the 
world    ~ everybody  wants  to  tell  the  President  what  to  do, 
and  boy  he  needs  to  be  told  many  times  -- but  I  just 
haven't  had  the  time.  But  I  want  you  to  know  that  each 
and  everyone  of  you,  I  know,  is  indispensable  to  this 
I  am  proud  of  this  Cabinet.  I  am  proud  of  all  the 
members  who  have  served  in  our  Cabinet.  I  am  proud  of  our 
sub-Cabinet.  I  am  proud  of  our  White  House  staff.  As 
I  pointed  out  last  night,  sure  we  have  done  some  things 
wrong  in  this  Administration,  and  the  top  man  always  takes 
the  responsibility,  and  I  have  never  ducked  it.  But  I 
want  to  say  one  thing:  We  can  be  proud  of  it  -- 5-1/2
years  -- no  man  or  no  woman  came  into  this  Administration 
and  left  it with  more  of  this  world's  goods  than  when  he 
came  in.  No  man  or  no  woman  evel'  profited  at  the  public 
expense  or  the  public  till.  That  tells  something  about  you. 
Mistakes,  yes.  But  for  personal  gain,  never. 
You  did  what  you  believed  in.  Sometimes  right,  sometimes 
wrong.  And  I  only  wish  that  I  were  a  wealthy  man  --
at  the  present  time  I  have  got  to  find  a  way  to  pay 
my  taxes  (Laughter)  -- and  if  I  were,  I  would  like  to  recompense 
you  for  the  sacrifices  all  of  you  have  made  to  serve  in 
But  you  are  getting  something  in  Government  --
and  I  want  you  to  tell  this  to  your  children,  and  I 
hope  the  Nation's  children  will  hear  it,  too  -- something 
in  Government  service  that  is  far  more  important  than 
money.  It  is  a  cause  bigger  than  yourself.  It  is  the 
cause  of  making  this  the  greatest  Nation  in  the  world,  the 
leader  of  the  world,  because  without  our  leadership  the 
world  will  know  nothing  but  war,  possibly  starvation,  or 
worse,  in  the  years  ahead.  With  our  leadership  it will 
know  peace,  it will  know  plenty. 
We  have  been  generous  and  we  will  be  more  generous 
in  the  future  as  we  are  able  to.  But  most  important,  we 
must  be  strong  here,  strong  in  our  hearts,  strong  in 
our  souls,  strong  in  our  belief,  and  strong  in  our  willing-
ness  to  sacrifice,  as  you  have  been  willing  to  sacrifice, 
in  a  pecuniary  way,  to  serve  in  Government. 
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There is something else I would like for you to
tell your young people. You know, people often come in and
say, 'What l ~   l l I tell my kids? Ii They look at Government
and say it is sort of a rugged life and they see the mistakes
that are made. They get the impression that everybody is
here for the purpose of feathering his nest. That is why
I made this earlier point -- not in this Administration, not
one single man or woman.
And I say to them, "There are many careers. This
country needs good farmers, good businessmen, good plumbers,
Rood carpenters."
I remember myoId man. I think that they would have
called him sort of a little man, common man. He didn't
consider himself that way. You know what he was? He was
a streetcar motorman first, and then he was a farmer, and
then he had a lemon ranch. It was the poorest lemon ranch
in California, I can assure you. He sold it before they
found oil on it. (Laughter)
And then he was a grocer. But he was a great
man because he did his job and every job counts up to the
hilt, regardless of what happens.
Nobody will ever write a book, probably, about
my mother. Well, I guess all of you would say this about
your mother -- my mother was a saint. And I think of her,
two boys dying of tuberculosis, nursing four others in
order that she could take care of my older brother for
three years in Arizona, and seeing each of them die,and
when they died,it was like one of her own.
Yes, she will have no books written about her.
But she was a saint.
Now, however, we look to the future. I had
a little quote in the speech last night from T.R. As you
know, I kind of like to read books. I am not educated,
but I do read books, (Laughter) and the T.R. quote uas a pretty
good one.
Here is another one I found as I \-Ias reading,
my last night in the White House, and this quote is
about a young man. He was a young lawyer in New York.
He had married a beautiful girl and they had a lovely
daughter, and then suddenly she died, and this is what
he wrote. This was in his diary.
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He  said:  "She  lo1as  beautiful  in  face  and  form 
and  lovlier  still  in  spirit.  As  a  flower  she  grew  and  as 
a  fair  young  flower  she  died.  Her'  life  had  been  always  in 
the  sunshine.  There  had  never  come  to  her  a  single  great 
sorrow.  None  ever  knew  her  who  did  not  love  and  revere 
her  for  her  bright  and  sunny  temper  and  her  saintly 
unselfishness.  Fair,  pure  and  joyous  as  a  maiden,  loving, 
tender  and  happy  as  a  young  wife.  tl1hen  she  had  just  become 
a  mother,  when  her  life  seemed  to  be  just  begun  and  when 
the  years  seemed  so  bright  before  her,  then  by  a  strange 
and  terrible  f   t ~ death  came  to  her.  And  when  my  heart's 
dearest  died,  the  light  went  from  my  life  forever. 
That  was  T.R.  in  his  20's.  He  thought  the  light 
had  gone  from  his  life  forever  -- but  he  went  on.  And  he 
not  only  became  President,  but  as  an  ex-President,  he  served 
his  country  always  in  the  arena,  tempetuous,  strong,  sometimes 
wrong,  sometimes  right,  but  he  was  a  man. 
And  as  I  leave,  let  me  say  that  is  an  example 
I  think  all  of  us  should  remember.  We  think  sometimes 
when  things  happen  that  don't  go  the  right  way;  we  think 
that  when  you  don't  pass  the  bar  exam.  the  first  time  --
I  happened  to,  but  I  was  just  lucky;  I  mean  my  t ~ i ting 
was  so  poor  the  bar  examiner  said,  "We  have  just  got  to 
let  the  guy  through."  (Laughter)  We  think  that  when  someone 
dear  to  us  dies,  we  think  that  when  we  lose  an  election, 
we  think  that  when  we  suffer  a  defeat,  that  all  is  ended. 
We  think,  as  T.R.  said,  that  the  light  had  left  his 
life  forever. 
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Not true. It is only a beginning always. The
young must know it; the old must know it. It must always
sustain us because the greatness comes not when things go
always good for you, but the greatness comes when you are
really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappoint-
ments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been
in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it
is to be on the highest mountain.
And so I say to you on this occasion, as we leave,
we leave proud of the people who have stood by us and
worked for us and served this country.
We want you to be proud of what you have done.
We want you to continue to serve in Government, if that is
your wish. liways give your best, never get discouraged,
never be petty; always remember others may hate you, but
those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and
then you destroy yourself.
And so, we leave with high hopes, in good spirit
and with deep humility, and with very much gratefulness
in our hearts. And I can only say to each and everyone
of y   u ~ we come from many faiths, we pray perhaps to
different gods, but really the same God in a sense, but
I want to say to each and everyone of you, not only will
we always remember you, not only will we always be grateful
to you, but always you will be in our hearts and you will be
in our prayers.
Thank you very much.
END (AT 9:55 A.M. EDT)